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Famous Penguin At Santa Barbara Zoo Undergoes Operation; Reported To Be Doing OK

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(Photo by Tony Luna)
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Lucky wearing one of his high-tech shoes designed by Teva, which allowed him to walk and swim

A penguin at a South Coast zoo which became famous because of a custom shoe he wore to deal with a birth defect had to have his foot amputated.

Lucky the penguin got international attention after show maker Teva heard about his foot problem, and started making custom made shows so the Santa Barbara Zoo resident could move normally. He used a series of the shoes for the last eight years.

But, the ankle joint on the Humbolt penguin started to deteriorate, leaving him in obvious pain. Pain medications and other treatments had become ineffective, prompting the need for the surgery.

Zoo officials say Lucky came through the procedure with flying colors. They say they are working with Teva on a new shoe design to allow the penguin to move as normally as possible after he recovers from the operation.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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